Newnan, Georgia has a population of roughly 38,000. But despite the small number of residents, the local police got almost $1 million in surplus military equipment.
The Marshall Project‘s online database tracking equipment given to local police departments since the start of the 1033 program — a collaboration between the Department of Defense and law enforcement agencies throughout the United States — shows that Newnan, Georgia got almost $1 million in military equipment since the program’s inception in the early 1990s. If you include military equipment given to the Coweta County Sheriff’s Department (whose jurisdiction includes Newnan), that figure surpasses $1 million.
A “non-lethal weapons capability set” given to Newnan was valued at more than $507,000. A utility truck was valued at over $110,000. Another item listed as “carrier, personnel, full tracked” was given a value of $77,714. A set of assault rifles (13 7.62mm rifles and 15 5.56mm rifles) was valued at over $3,500. Some of this equipment is on display in this video of police in tactical gear pointing weapons at an unarmed crowd of people protesting the recent neo-Nazi rally in Newnan last weekend:
— Daniel Shular (@xshularx) April 21, 2018
Even though small-town police departments like Newnan likely don’t often use their utility trucks, helicopters, pontoon boats, and non-lethal weapons for routine police business like traffic stops and domestic disputes, President Trump has made it even easier for local police to obtain surplus military equipment used in war zones.
An executive order Trump issued last November undoing actions taken by former President Barack Obama in 2015 to ban police departments from obtaining certain equipment and instituting tight restrictions on other equipment. NBC News estimates that since 1990, the 1033 program has given out more than $5.4 billion in military equipment to law enforcement agencies.
You can browse the Marshall Project’s database of 1033 equipment disbursed to law enforcement below:
Michael Boone is a freelance journalist and columnist writing about politics, government, race, and media. He graduated from Texas Southern University’s School of Communication, and lives in Houston’s Third Ward.